How to Handle Large Orders with Your Silhouette or Cricut

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Have you received inquiries about making an extra large order for a customer with your Silhouette Cameo? If you haven’t, at some point, you probably will. A good small business owner knows the limitations of themselves – and the limitations of their cutting machine. For example, it isn’t cost effective to handle an order of 300 t-shirts with your Silhouette Cameo and heat transfer vinyl (HTV). Unfortunately, when you factor in the cost of the vinyl, the time to cut it, the time to weed it, the time to apply it, and the cost of supplies; you are likely to find out that your customer doesn’t want to pay a price that will leave you any room for profit. Generally, customers that order large quanities of items expect that they will receive bulk discounts for the large volume order. Luckily, you don’t have to simply pass on the potential large order!

Here are two alternatives to handle an extra large order:

Option 1) Order screenprinted (platisol) or digitally printed transfers. For my t-shirt example, you would create the t-shirt design to meet the needs of the customer. Then, you would order the transfers online. Once the transfers arrive, you apply the transfer to the shirts using a heat press. The process goes quickly, and you could probably do about one shirt every minute or two. I’ve had great luck ordering transfers through Transfer Express (by Stahls) when I did a large t-shirt order for a local non-profit. Transfer Express offers both custom and stock designs, and offers products for t-shirts, rhinestones, stickers, window decals, and much more. If you’d like to try them out before you jump into ordering transfers, Transfer Express offers a free sample pack, and you can learn more about the types of transfers and instructions for each here. You make money using transfers because you are able to save on supplies and the cost of the labor is lower – because you spend less time working on the order.

Option 2) Use a direct to garment printing company. Using the t-shirt example again, you would create the t-shirt design for the customer. Then, you would order the shirt to be printed through companies like Printaura or Printful. These companies print your design onto your t-shirt and mail the final product directly to your customer. Both Printaura and Printful operate on a white label basis. This means that your company’s name will appear as the return address on the package, and all paperwork included with your order is branded with your company name. I used Printaura for a set of family reunion tees that I created and simply ran out of time to complete on my own. I was impressed by the entire process. In addition to t-shirts, both companies carry tote bags, canvas, posters, framed art, mugs, pillows, and embroidered goods. You make money using direct to garment printing companies, because the company charges you a set price for the product they create. You charge the customer a higher price for the product that includes your time to design it.

What the biggest order that you would take on with your Silhouette or Cricut? Let me know in the comments. Then, share this post on Pinterest:

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Disclosure: I received no compensation for this article and was not approached by any company mentioned in this article to write this article.

22 thoughts on “How to Handle Large Orders with Your Silhouette or Cricut”

  1. Good morning. Just saw this post. i am thinking about using printful for my t shirt designs I created using my Cricut explore. Can you tell me how you are getting your designs to them. I am at a stand still on how to get the transparent background design to them in a .PNG form.
    Thank you

    1. Hi Jessica! In Cricut Design Space, you need to first flatten the image. Then you can print to a virtual printer to save the design as a .png. I use Bullzip for virtual printing (it prints to your computer, it is not an actual printer). It is a free download. Hope that helps!

  2. I just did 90 shirts with the cricut explore air and I did it below cost since it was for my grandsons headstart. It wasn’t suppose to have been that way but they claim that they didn’t have enough money to pay me anymore lol.

  3. I did 175 shirts for a youth camp the summer. It was for a non-profit and they provided the shirts. I charged $4 per shirt. After factoring the labor, I barely broke even. I thought the exposure would be great but as of yet, it hasn’t yielded any sales.

  4. Good evening Ms. Christine!

    My name is Artice,
    I have been recently contacted to fulfill a order to do 10 t-shirt with front and back print. The client would be providing the shirts. I would only have to charge for my time and materials which I would be using black and white HTV. Could you please help? I not sure how to charge and this would be my first order doing more than one t-shirt.

    Thanks much!

  5. I have an order of 30 shirts, simple design, one color. My husband is worried it’s going to break my cricut explore air 2. How much can my cricut handle?

  6. I’m doing an order of about 50 shirts for a church. One color and I got a great vendor to order shirts from. I’m charging $10 for shirts.

  7. I love using Stahls and never used their service, but will definitely be looking into them for bigger orders. I generally charge $15-20 for custom T-shirt’s and $10-12 for businesses. I use the Silhouette Cameo for my small business.

  8. Christine,
    I’ve enjoyed your blog so much. It has been so helpful to me. Thank you for all you do!
    I was wondering about large decals. My sister wants a decal with 7 words- it is 27 inches wide by 33 tall. I’m trying to find the best way to prepare this for her in regards to transfer tape application. I typically use Oracal transfer tape. (BTW, your recommended tape is unavailable on amazon.) But it, like my mat is only 12 inches wide. Any suggestions?

    1. Hello! You’d just divide the design into 12 inch sections and she’d piece it together when installing. The Greenstar sells out a lot, just keep your eye on it!

      1. Thank you for your reply!
        Do you recommend the greenstar medium tack for Oracal 651? And do you recommend sending this to customers?

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